An Ode to Brown Furniture?

Is brown furniture out? I first learned of this about two years ago during a tour of homes with a friend. It was casually mentioned in a whisper. It came up again last night when I was reading blog posts over at the potted boxwood.

As an aside – I just found this blog and LOVE it. She also has YouTube and Instagram accounts.

When this was first mentioned in a whispered voice I was stunned. As a native of NC who grew up near High Point, the furniture capital, this was a stunning statement. As I look around my home and think about my parents house, I think of brown furniture. Growing up there was a plethora of family pieces. When my Mom and Dad furnished their first home, my grandfather took my Mother up to the hayloft of the family barn and asked her what pieces she wanted. The loveseat and a pair of chairs she selected grace my home today. I think of it as furniture sustainability. Furniture was handed down and cherished.

The furniture of yesterday was a work of art. It was made to last and has. My style is somewhat eclectic. I love pairing a Saarinen table with my grandmother’s china cabinet and a beautiful chandelier or an acrylic table with a camelback formal sofa. It adds interest and surprise to a room.

Today it seems like furniture is considered a disposable good. This is the weekend I always go to New York to attend the Winter Antique show. That’s not happening this year because of COVID but I think of all the beautiful pieces of furniture I’ve seen and wonder what we are making today. I have wonderful memories of my first home. On Saturday mornings when I was doing the house, I’d pick up my Mom and we would scour North Carolina – Thomasville, Lexington, High Point – salvage stores for furniture, textile second outlets for fabric, antique stores for everything, not to mention my Mom’s storage unit for family pieces. It was fun and I still cherish the pieces I found. I also have all of those pieces but for one that didn’t make the last move.

In an era where we champion sustainability doesn’t it seem like “brown furniture” has a place?